Today’s the day when Archibald Jaeger and Gael Murray step out into the rain and leave the old book shop behind to face the world. It’s not an ordinary world they’re facing, no it’s a world where it never stops raining, a world where humans and non-humans are living in different districts.
Archie is a finder, though a rather crappy one. His best friend Edie is part nagi and therefore shunned by the non-human world. Together, Archie and Edie run Jaeger’s Lost and Found, and their latest client is a vampire doomed to die within a few days since he’s lost his connections.
I had a plan for 2019, and Jaeger’s Lost and Found wasn’t part of that plan, but I was browsing JMS Books‘ website and saw a call for stories about lost connections. It was a month left till the deadline and I figured I wouldn’t make it, but this idea of a man meant to find things popped up in my mind.
I talked it over with my writing pals, Al and Amy, saying I probably wouldn’t make, and it was no use in trying, and the idea probably wasn’t any good anyway.
I went to bed, and the next day I started writing. The minimum word limit was 12k so that was my goal – three weeks later my supposed 12k story had turned into a 28k story.
Writing this story was so much fun!
Archie stared; he didn’t care if Gael could see the shock on his face. No one wanted to get to know him. He ran a hand over his chest, nervously making sure his suit vest hadn’t creased.
“So fucking proper,” Gael growled, and it sent a tingle skidding over Archie’s skin. Inappropriate, he reminded himself. No tingles around clients, it was not how he operated.
“Oh no, do I have to stop?”
“You have this look…is it a thing we have to get?” Gael slowed down, looking around.
Archie rubbed his chest again. “No, it’s fine, you can keep going.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth there was a tug inside of him, more than a tug, it insisted. “Sorry, yes, I think we have to turn.”
“What?” Gael pushed some hair from his face. “Turn? Where?”
“Erm…” Archie breathed through another pull. “Next exit to the right.”
Gael grinned. “We would have anyway.”
“We’re already in Aspal?” That went faster and wasn’t nearly as excruciating as Archie had imagined.
“No.” Gael flashed fangs much like Edie used to, but he only had a single set. When Edie did it was playful, to him at least, though he had no doubt others found it terrifying. Gael on the other hand… Archie tingled again.
“I need a snack.”
“Oh, I can be Mr. Jaeger, I can be.”
Archie swallowed but shook off Gael’s words. “It’s a vampire thing, right?”
For a second surprise flickered in Gael’s eyes before he turned back to look at the mostly deserted road. Archie squinted past the rain and the windshield wipers to a sign indicating an exit.
“Ah, yeah, we can give people mental nudges, but most often we don’t need to, though. Most species instinctively want to please us.”
Archie forced himself not to show any emotion. Instinctively want to please—that wasn’t fair. Vampires already had many advantages compared to most species—they were fast, strong, and immortal. They could die, so not indestructible, but unless someone chopped their head off or cut off their mental connections, they’d live forever.
Gael turned off the freeway and toward what almost looked like a ghost town. Stratholm wasn’t a fancy district by any means, but Archie wouldn’t voluntarily go here. It was where the ghost hand wanted him to go, though.
“You don’t feel it?”
Archie blinked a couple of times, his eyes gritty from lack of sleep and his heart thundering at the thought of leaving the car. “Feel what?”
Gael frowned. “A pull, a desire to please me?”
Archie looked at him, his flawless skin, beautiful lips, and the dark eyes. He wouldn’t have minded seeing him panting and sweaty, eyes shining with lust—irrational thinking. Archie never got into bed with strangers, and few stayed long enough to get to know him.
JMS is having a 20% discount on Jaeger’s Lost and Found for its first week, so head on over there, or if you prefer to shop elsewhere you’ll find where it’s available here:
Jaeger’s Lost and Found is the only finder shop to be had on the whole of the west coast. The problem is, Archibald Jaeger, the last of the Jaeger line, seems to be defective. A result of too many generations of crossbreeding with humans. But Jaegers are finders, and there’s nothing to be done about it.
Gael Murray has lost his connections. A vampire can’t survive without the energy exchange he has with the members of his coven through mental links. And, as of this morning, they’ve all vanished. Gael will die if he doesn’t reinstate his connections through a blood exchange. And his only hope to find the other members of his coven is to hire a finder.
Even a terrible finder is better than none at all.
Together Gael and Archie set out to save Gael’s life, but what was an already difficult task becomes nearly insurmountable. And Archie, who can never find what he’s looking for, finds himself falling in love with a man he’ll be hard pressed to save.